Thursday, April 20, 2017

Veggie Boxes 2017

Veggie boxes are available to be pre-ordered and a really good deal. Just sign up and then decide how long you want to commit for. But why choose our farm CSA (community supported agriculture) over the other local ones? There are some really great growers in the valley who work hard to provide good veggies to their customers, there's a couple within 2 miles of our farm, but at the same time I know of one other in a different community where they buy discounted veggies from other local commercial farms all season long and pass it off as their own. It's important that you get to know your grower if you can, so that you're getting what you pay for. Otherwise you may as well just shop at Sobeys. I'm not saying I've never bought anything to help fill a veggie box, last spring our partners had serious water issues and despite their best intentions they didn't get a lot growing so I bought local veggies, carrots, green onions and lettuce etc. to help fill my boxes for a few weeks while I got a bunch more seeds planted and I got garlic scapes from a lady in Aylesford before being entirely self sufficient. But we've been doing a veggie box program for quite a few years both in BC and NS and have the experience to know what to plant when (and computer programs to keep us organized). Since this year we're not relying on anyone else to provide half the veggies, we can just plan for and rely on our selves again. And you are certainly welcome to take a drive by after the end of May and check out the field garden to see what's growing. You may be able to see the plants through the greenhouses too. Cucumbers, melons, eggplant, tomatoes and wasabi are all in there during the summer.  I guess when it comes down to it, the proof that we grow our own produce is right there in the field. The farm stand will be open in June so pop by and see us. 

We're changing things up from our usual CSA where you pay for all 4 months in advance. Instead, 
you'll order and pay by the week or pay for a month and get a discount. This means you still get your box of healthy and delicious vegetables each week, but now it's easier to fit into your budget. It also means that if you're a new customer, you can try us out without a huge commitment. Try it for a month and see what you think. You'll try some new veggies, get recipes, and become part of the Humblebee family.

FAQ.

Do you deliver? How do I get my box?  You can pick up from us at Greenwood Mall farmers market, Mid Valley Farmers Market, farm stand or get delivery. It's your choice. Delivery is an additional $5 per week up to 50km. There's a spot on the order sheet to let us know your preferred location and we take orders by email. If there is enough interest, we will have our regular pick up location in Lower Sackville again this year. 

Going on vacation? Just stop delivery while you're gone or donate to the food bank or a friend. 

Can I cancel? Yes, you are only committing to the weeks you pay for. This is what makes us different from the other CSA's out there. You don't risk losing hundreds of dollars if you don't like it. If you pay for a month and then decide it's not for you because you're moving, or circumstances have changed, that's okay. Just let us know. You'll only get the weeks you've paid for. We will be sad to lose you but our produce is delicious and I'm sure you'll be back to see us at the farmers market if you can. 

Can I substitute the things in my box? Generally no because it can get very confusing to keep a bunch of boxes separate that are all slightly different. But we can try to work something out, you can trade with a friend, or you can share with someone who loves what you hate. 

What's actually in a box? This questions a bit tricky because each week is different. The seasonal veggies go from lots of greens in spring to peas, beans, and summer veggies to the root crops of fall. We will only have apples available late September once they're ready, lettuce and tomatoes almost every week, potatoes go from new potatoes to main crop from July to September etc. And of course cool weather crops like peas and lettuce aren't very tasty when it's hot in August so you'll be getting melons and cucumbers then. This year I'm going to take a lot more photos of our boxes so I have a better record. 

Are you organic? We are not certified organic due to the cost and politics. We are 'no spray' and certify as Naturally Grown instead. We absolutely believe in using organic, permaculture, and pollinator friendly methods of growing. Our chickens and ducks do lots of bug control, we weed by hand and use a small tiller, truly organic growing is very labour intensive. There are lots of chemicals out there that are supposedly safe for organic growers but we prefer to use natural inputs like garlic spray, compost and fish fertilizers whenever we can.  Healthy plants = happy people. 

Is it just veggies? No, your box will also include herbs, berries occasionally and fruit such as melons and apples. Plus a newsletter. We give all sorts of things a try! Plus you can add free range eggs, breads and treats, preserves and flowers. We bake fresh to order. 



Do you hire outside help? We are a very small, family run farm and don't pay anyone to work here. But we do have help. We teach organic gardening and homesteading skills to young people from all over the world through a program called WWOOF. They help us for a few hours each day in exchange for room and board and we probably host an average of 20 people per year. It's a great program and we've made some lifelong friends. We also have our children, affectionately known as the 'slave labour crew'. 

Do you have veggies all year round? No, we offer a seasonal veggie box. We will have extra fruits and fall crops and we will keep everyone informed as to what's available in October and November. We had fresh peas last Christmas! But you never know with the Nova Scotia weather. 

How do I sign up? You can email us at humblebeecanada@gmail.com and let us know how many, what size, and then we will add you to our newsletter list and arrange your pickup location. 

How much? How do I pay? It's your choice to pay by the week, month (4 weeks) or season (16 weeks). After mid September everyone will be charged by the week because weather conditions may make bi-weekly harvests more practical. Costs are:

Large box $25 per week.  $90 per month.  $340 for 16 week season.
Small box $15 per week.  $50 per month.  $180 for 16 week season. 

Eggs are $4 per dozen.

Bread $4 loaf or 2/$7

Preserves - $4 jar

Flowers $5 bunch

We accept Visa & MasterCard, etransfer, cash or cheque. Sign up first, then we'll arrange payment method. There are a limited number of boxes available for pre-order. 

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